Open Access Week 2017

Open Access Week

International Open Access Week runs from October 23–29, 2017.  For all of the details, visit

This year’s theme is “Open in order to:” with a blank line to highlight what open access enables your library or institution to do.

Open Access Week 2017

Open in order to:

Your library or institution is probably utilizing open access resources.  For Open Access Week this year, promote them to show how they can benefit your users.  Here are just a few of the ways.

Promote Institutional Repositories

Many institutions are publishing open access resources in institutional repositories, often administered by library staff.  Whether using paid proprietary platforms such as bepress’s Digital Commons or open source products CONTENTdm, DSpace, and Omeka, institutions can publish open access scholarly articles, journals, books, and data.

Does your institution have an institutional repository?  If so, promote it to your users—both creators and consumers.  Show faculty and staff how they can extend the reach of their published research and increase citation counts.  Teach users to find relevant open access resources written by their own professors and others in their field.

Also, help scholars extend their reach by helping them register for an ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID), a unique 16-digit number which distinguishes them from other researchers in online resources.

Extend Electronic Resources Budgets

We all subscribe to must-have research databases.  But as subscription prices rise and library budgets are stretched thin, supplementing your list of paid databases with free, open access databases and journals makes sense.  Important scholarly works are now being published exclusively in major open access databases such as arXiv, HathiTrust Digital Library, and PLOS ONE.

Increasingly, traditional publishers and database vendors are joining the trend of open access and providing some free content.  Even if you don’t subscribe to their paid content, you can link to open access from publishers and databases.

Offer Free Textbooks and Other Educational Resources

Along with higher journal and database costs, students and libraries are faced with increasing costs of textbooks.  Librarians have led the push towards expanding the use of open educational resources (OER).  Encourage your faculty and staff to use open access textbooks when possible.

Learn More

Visit the Official Site

Visit the official Open Access Week website to see 2017 events and read their blogs to learn about what others are doing.  Download resources & media such as posters, handouts, stickers, and logos to promote the event.

TwitterFollow on Social Media

Follow and use the Twitter hashtags #OAWeek and #OpenInOrderTo.


Past Open Access Weeks

Get more ideas from our previous Open Access Week 2016 and Open Access Week 2015 articles.

Library Technology at the ALA 2017 Annual Conference

ALA 2017 Annual Conference

The ALA 2017 Annual Conference is just one week away.  The conference covers a myriad of library topics and sorting through the program sessions to find the ones focused on library technology takes effort.  Let us do the work for you.

Here is our list of programs related to library technology.  You’ll find interest groups and sessions on data and metadata, makerspaces, UX, Linked Data, ILS and LMS, websites, mobile apps, emerging technologies, and more.  Committee meetings were not included.

For official descriptions, speakers, and final schedule, please check the conference Full Schedule page.
Continue reading “Library Technology at the ALA 2017 Annual Conference”

Library Service Status Pages

Online library services play a vital part in providing access to library resources and services.  Thus, it is very useful for library staff to know the status of these third-party services.  Downtime is rare, but when staff and users need to know the availability of online services, having a library service status page can be extremely helpful.  Fortunately, library vendors know this and increasingly are providing access to websites for displaying current service status and notices of planned interruptions.

Here is a list of the known major library service status pages:


bepress Current Statusbepress supports institutional repositories with Digital Commons, SelectedWorks, Expert Gallery Suite, and ExpressO online manuscript delivery service.  Their website has a Current Status page that covers all of these services including status details, scheduled maintenance, and recent product updates.

Access the bepress Current Status page.


EBSCO Help Alerts

On its EBSCO Help website, the company provides News and Alerts for its wide range of databases and EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS).  You can enter your email address to subscribe to alerts, as well.

Access the EBSCO Help Alerts page.

Ex Libris

Ex Libris System Status

With the merger of Ex Libris and ProQuest, Ex Libris took over the support of all library systems and discovery services.  The company has created a unified system status page for Alma, Summon, Serials Solutions 360 Link, Intota, Primo, SFX, and more.

Access the Ex Libris System Status page.


OCLC System AlertsFrom the OCLC Support & Training website, you can access OCLC System Alerts.  This blog-like site reports current and past maintenance and issues for services including Connexion, hosted EZproxy, WorldCat, and WorldShare products.

Access the OCLC System Alerts page.


SirsiDynix Status

SirsiDynix is a major library vendor with cloud-based systems such as their BLUEcloud services.  The company’s status page contains notifications of scheduled maintenance and outages by region.

Access the SirsiDynix Status page.


Springshare Systems Status Dashboard
Source: Springshare

Springshare understands the importance of providing status information for library resources and services to library users.  That’s why they created the Systems Status Dashboard in LibAnswers that allows your library to set up and display the status of your website, LibGuides, local resources, and databases.  You can alert users to any planned system maintenance and explain unexpected downtime.  For any LibAnswers site that has enabled the public status dashboard, you can view it by adding /systems after their LibAnswers URL.  Some examples are Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Maryland Libraries, and Georgia College.

Read more about the Springshare Systems Status Dashboard.

TwitterIn addition to bookmarking the above sites, follow your important library vendors on Twitter.  That is where they will often post the first announcements of issues and further status reports.

OAI-PMH: Basics and Resources

Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) is a set of specifications for making structured open repository metadata accessible to other service providers issuing requests.

Why learn about OAI-PMH?

Taking advantage of repositories (data providers) and services (service providers) that offer metadata using OAI-PMH will allow your resources better visibility and access.  For example, many discovery services (the “harvester”) use OAI-PMH metadata for indexing open access institutional repository articles.

The Basics

Open Archives InitiativeOpen Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) specifies how metadata is structured and presented for ingestion by external services, usually on the Internet.  OAI-PMH metadata is encoded in extensible markup language (XML) format.  OAI-PMH records are harvested using HTTP requests.

OAI-PMH is a project of the Open Archives Initiative.

Continue reading “OAI-PMH: Basics and Resources”

Basics and Resources Series 2016

Last year we created a Basics and Resources series to introduce some common library technology topics.  As you can guess from the name, in each article we introduced the basic concepts and listed resources where you could learn more.  Based on feedback, these articles proved very popular and we will be posting more in the coming year.

The Basics and Resources articles from 2016 were:

Linked Data

Linked Data mugLinked Data is a set of practices which involves the publishing, sharing, and connecting of related data across the Web in a structured format, preferably using an open access license.

Read Linked Data: Basics and Resources.


BIBFRAMEBIBFRAME is a bibliographic framework for the description of physical and online objects to make them accessible on the Web by using a standard Linked Data model. It is a replacement for MARC.

Read BIBFRAME: Basics and Resources.


Altmetric ScoreAltmetrics are “alternative metrics” to measure the influence and reach of scholarly output on the Web through peer-review counts, influential news sites and blog posts, citation manager bookmarks such as Mendeley, Wikipedia citations, and social media mentions on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Read Altmetrics: Basics and Resources.


API GraphicAPI stands for Application Programming Interface which allows external applications to access software or Web services data, in the latter case by using HTTP request messages, for recombination (mashup) or custom presentation by the external application.

Read API: Basics and Resources.

We will keep a current list on the Basics and Resources Series page.